Wednesday February 21st, 2024
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Future Bedouin Crafts Inflatable Design Fantasies Across Saudi Arabia

The artists at Future Bedouin have created dream-like visuals of inflatable objects and structures.

Karim Abdullatif

Designs involving the acronym ‘AI’ have faced their fair share of amusement, as well as discontent. “Ah, but it isn’t real,” or, “Cool but can’t be applied,” are common reactions. Future Bedouin, an art studio founded by Alex Olszewska, has been colourfully debunking such dismissals through hyperrealistic designs in Saudi Arabia.

Inflatable sculptures have taken the world of design by storm, and Future Bedouin built on that with both fashion and architecture. Previously, they contextualised eco-friendly fashion collections within Saudi’s dunes. While the visuals were compelling, they remained conceptual.

There’s a growing appreciation for the significance of conceptual art and design in developing real-world creativity, and there’s a reason why Future Bedouin has collaborated with global fashion names such as Gucci and Balenciaga, and re-imagined iconic Tiffany & Co. products, presenting their designs in a way that feels real.

Carrying an apparent affinity for balloons, they envisioned temporary balloon majlises covered in baby pink and tucked within AlUla’s rock formations. The inflatable fantasies continued in the upcoming cultural capital of Diriyah, where a pastel oasis made of bubbly seats is meant to offer a breezy, hypothetical break in the historic neighbourhood.

‘Saudi Splash City’, on the other hand, is exactly what you guessed it to be: an inflatable water park. Zooming in, it could be argued that, from a safety point of view, it’s unrealistic to stand on a surface that’s both slippery and bubbly. That said, the creative endeavour remains appealing.

Future Bedouin’s visual storytelling goes beyond bubbles and balloons, with luminous mushroom sculptures emitting magenta and turquoise into barren deserts, while vibrant mesh designs explore the borders of traditional tents. With each exploration, they prove that the ‘conceptual’ and the ‘realistic’ have never been closer.


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